Defending race winner Colton Herta leads the way for Honda In St. Petersburg GP Qualifying

#26: Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda
  • Defending St. Pete winner Colton Herta looks to repeat from the second row starting position
  • Romain Grosjean, Simon Pagenaud both make ‘Firestone Fast Six’ in first race weekend with new Honda teams
  • Honda claims six of top 10 qualifying positions Sunday’s 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 26, 2022) – Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta is once again leading the charge for Honda on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, qualifying third today for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the #26 Honda-powered Andretti Autosport machine.

Andretti Autosport’s newest driver, Romain Grosjean, also represented the team in the ‘Firestone Fast Six’ in the #28 Honda, qualifying fifth. Also making his debut with a new team for 2022, Simon Pagenaud, notched a sixth place starting position for Meyer Shank Racing.

Honda-powered drivers claimed six of the top 10 starting positions, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and reigning champion Alex Palou qualifying seventh, eighth and 10th respectively.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Honda Qualifying Results

  • 3rd Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 5th Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 6th Simon Pageaud Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 7th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 8th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 10th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 11th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 13th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 15th Christian Lundegaard-R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 17th Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 18th Devlin DeFrancesco-R Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 22nd Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
  • 23rd Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 24th David Malukas-R Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda
  • 26th Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

R – Rookie

Quotes

Colton Herta (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) defending race winner, will start third: ““I knew we had a good race car for here, and we got through the first two [qualifying] stages nice and clean, but couldn’t get the perfectly clean lap we needed in the ‘Fast Six’ [final qualifying round] at the end. We’re in a good [starting] position, I can’t wait to get the season going tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean (#28 Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified fourth: “Qualifying was okay. We still have a bit more speed we can get out of the car to get it to my liking, but the car was really good, very smooth to drive. I know Andretti has got a brilliant car on all the street courses. With Olivier [Boisson, his engineer] last year, we had a really good car on road courses. Ovals, I know Andretti has got a good car, as well. I think with all of us working together, we can get something good. I’m happy that I’ve got really fast teammates. That’s going to push me to get better.”

Simon Pagenaud (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda) will start sixth: “So far, it has been a great weekend with the Meyer Shank Racing Honda. Working with the team has been a lot of fun. We’ve made progress every session. In qualifying, we were missing a little bit of front grip to nail that perfect lap. But overall super excited to be in the fast six in our first race. I’m excited and there is more to come. We have a really good race car and that makes me happy for tomorrow.”

Fast Facts

  • Honda-powered drivers have won 10 of the 17 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at St. Petersburg since the event was revived for the 2005 season. The late Dan Wheldon led a Honda and Andretti Green Racing sweep of the top four positions in the inaugural 2005 event; while Colton Herta dominated in 2021 for Honda and Andretti Autosport.
  • Other Honda winners on the streets of St. Petersburg include local resident Sebastian Bourdais in 2017-18; Helio Castroneves in 2006 and ’07; Graham Rahal in 2008; Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe and Will Power in 2009 and ’10, respectively; and Dario Franchitti in 2011.
  • Ten race wins in 2021 brought Honda the company’s 10th INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and fourth consecutive title, a record for the company. Honda-powered Alex Palou scored three of those wins to claim his first INDYCAR Drivers’ Championship.

Where to Watch Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Live NBC television coverage of Sunday’s 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 12 p.m. EDT. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available NBC Peacock Premium, SiriusXM IndyCar Nation (Channel 160) and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Honda Racing social media content and video links from St. Petersburg can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional feature videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).